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Syrian Refugee Crisis; Tokyo Wins Olympic Bid

Aired September 9, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi. Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS. I`m Carl Azuz. The U.S. Congress is back in session this Monday, September 9th, its summer break is over and Senators and Representatives have a major vote facing them. Should the U.S. launch a military strike against Syria? The Obama administration believes Syria used illegal chemical weapons in its civil war. He wants to punish Syria with a military strike. President Obama is asking for Congress`s approval. He`s planning to address the nation tomorrow night and hopes of winning public support. But as of right now, he doesn`t have it. A number of recent polls have found that most Americans don`t want the U.S. to attack Syria. Regardless of how that turns out, Syria`s civil war has effected millions. Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes us to where many Syrians have taken refuge.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For Arkan Abdullah (ph), the constant shelling in Hams was becoming too much. But it was after this occurred to her middle son, Yousef (ph), she knew she had to leave.

It was an explosion, she told me, that led to these burns. She packed up her three sons and what little she had and traveled to Alvares (ph) mostly by foot, to arrive here at this camp. It`s one of the largest in Bekaa Valley along the Syrian-Lebanese border. The youngest son, Alah (ph), is eight months old, and he`s now spent half his life as a refugee. He`s severely malnourished, even though he is breastfed.

(on camera): How difficult is that to get food?

(voice over): It is tough to breastfeed, she tells me, when the mom herself hasn`t had enough to east. Today, they get drastically needed medical attention and vaccines from malaria and polio, thanks to UNICEF. But make no mistake, Lebanon is buckling under the weight of the refugees who arrive here every 15 seconds. In this country of over 4 million, the United Nations say there are some 720,000 registered refugees. But doctors here believe the number to be more than twice that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s very, very lot. Very lot.

"More than one out of every four people in Lebanon is a refugee, he tells me. And it is the people living in these surrounding communities that are now sending a message to the refugees in this Valley Camps: this will never be your home. This can never be your home. The children smiles belie a particularly awful way of life. Their stories, one of fleeing the violence at their home country, and then not being wanted in the adapted one. After two years, there are no fixed facilities, or system of sanitation. Instead, just a steady stream of sewage snaking its way through this 5,000 person camp. They have lost everything. Their material possessions, their dignity, their permanence. To simply live like this, aid groups say refugees at this camp are required to pay 100 U.S. dollars a month to the town sheriff, and the only way to make it work, is to send these young kids into the fields to work for just $2 a day. It is heart wrenching. Within these camps, there is the constant friction between two groups, those who support the Syrian regime, and those who hate it. But they do share something in common: they all want to go home. Arkan and her three sons, they can`t wait to leave. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.


AZUZ: There are a number of international organizations working to get help to these refugees, they are offering cloth, blankets, medicine when needed. CNN has put together a list of some of these aid groups. If you`re looking to help and you need a place to start, you can find a link to "Impact Your World" at


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The International Olympic Committee has the honor of announcing that the games of the 32 Olympiad in 2020 are awarded to the city of Tokyo.



AZUZ: Congratulations to viewers in Japan, who are looking forward to hosting the Summer Olympics once again. The last time, Tokyo did that, it was a 1964, the next time will be in 2020. That gives you a sense of how far ahead the International Olympic Committee schedules the games to give host countries time to build and prepare. Japan could use that time, it`s still recovering from a 2011 earthquake tsunami and nuclear plant meltdown. Paula Hancocks explains how Tokyo beat out Istanbul and Madrid.



PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There were tears and there was gold tinsel. Not bad for 5:20 on the Sunday morning. Tokyo was the favorite and it didn`t disappoint. Supporters were delighted the Olympic Games were returned to the city in 2020.

This boy shouts, "I`m so happy." His friend dabs (ph), "I knew we would win.

This girl says, many people understand the charm of Tokyo. It`s well known. But this will make Tokyo even more popular. Tokyo billed itself as a safe pair of hands in uncertain times. Clearly, what the Olympic Committee wanted this time around. And it doesn`t hurt when your prime minister was willing to leave a G20 meeting early to help wave the flag.

SHINZO ABE, JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The Olympic movement in Japan will be expanded to the rest of the world. They expected that role to be played by Japan. That`s why they supported us. Safe and secured games to be staged by us.


HANCOCKS: Even concerns over a radiation spikes and fresh toxic water leaks at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, couldn`t derail this bid.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I was (inaudible) these people, I think Tokyo and Japan is very dangerous, but I`m Japanese, so I just believe.

HANCOCKS: It is a big win for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as his strong personal involvement has paid off. Abe insists that Tokyo is safe. Now, the Olympic Committee believes him. Paula Hancocks, CNN, Tokyo.


AZUZ: If you were to drop between 70 and 100 and $50,000 on the luxury car, you`d expect it to be pretty hot. But after parking in the wrong space at the wrong time, a man in London recently returned to find his Jaguar warped, scorched, literally melted in some spot by the sun. Well, that and this - it`s a skyscraper under construction, did I say skyscraper? More like a fry scraper? Oh, burn. Anyway, the building`s developer promised to pay for the damage. Jenny Harrison explains how this happened in the first place.


JENNY HARRISON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is the building, there is the sun, pretty big sun. All the sun runs across coming down heating that building, then, of course, they are rebounding off the building and coming down onto the ground or whatever is down below. So, the sun is hitting the building at a different time of the day, in a different part of the building as well, because of the position in the sky. And, of course, as we know, it`s been hitting these particular parking spots just for a very short, specified amount of time, and also, it`s like it`s only last for two to three weeks.


AZUZ: When Florida A&M University has a football game to play, there is something on the field this year that hasn`t been there for 21 months, the marching band. It hasn`t been allowed to perform publicly since 2011. That November, FAMU`s drum major was beaten up on a bus after a football game. It was part of a hazing ritual. And 26-year old Robert Champion died within an hour of the beating. The university`s band director and president resigned because of the investigation and 15 band members were arrested. This year, the band isn`t as competitive or as large as it was before Champion was hazed. It`s actually a third the size it used to be. About 70 percent of the members are new, 30 percent marched in the previous life of the band. Their first game back included a moment of silence for victims of hazing. School has a lot more safeguards in place to discourage any form of hazing, and it gives students easy ways to report it. The Marching 100 band, like the university, it taking steps to rebuild its image and start things off on a better note.

Now, for the CNN STUDENT NEWS Roll Call. Look at some of the folks watching our show. First, it`s East Hamilton Middle High School in Ultiva (ph), Tennessee, the Ibus (ph) and the Hurricane (ph) are keeping an eye on us. Let`s go to Washington. Grandview High School, can`t outrun the eyes of Gunner (ph) the Greyhound. And while you might not expect to find gators in Pittsburgh, you will at St. Gabriel`s. Glad to have you all watching.

Cheetahs. The fastest mammals on land. Capable of going from zero to 60 in three seconds. On the way to a top speed of over 70 miles per hour, is the rundown their pray. But these two just want to snuggle. They are the latest additions to the Dallas zoo and they`ll have a job to do besides look - cute - they are part of the program to help raise awareness about endangered cheetahs and what`s being done to keep them around. They won`t have to cheetah to be good at it. These two are the pick of the litter, and we`re not kitten around. Two consecutive days of cat puns, they have left us feline less creative, but we`ll cat to the chase with more news and puns tom-meow-row, see you then.